Something that’s been fascinating me the longer I look at it.
Throughout ‘06 (and previous games as well) Shadow’s always had a predictable reaction to someone or something threatening him - he drops into a battle-ready stance, usually with his fists out, ready to start throwing punches:
It’s not surprising - Shadow fights, it’s what he does.
But I’ve been looking at his body language during the confrontation with Silver and it’s completely different:
He drops to the ground and doesn’t bother getting up for a good five seconds, despite Silver being an immediate threat.
Once he finally does stand up, he turns his back on Silver entirely for another five seconds to check on Sonic, even though Silver is still clearly looking for a fight.
Silver readies himself to attack, and all Shadow does is casually uncross his arms.
Shadow kicks the shit out of Silver, sending him flying, and then proceeds to stand and watch with his arms hanging, looking unconcerned.
I’ve always thought Silver was actually a better rival to Shadow’s physical strength than Sonic - Sonic has Shadow beat when it comes to speed, but every time we see Sonic and Silver face off Silver wrecks Sonic’s shit.
The only reason Sonic ever survives their encounters is because someone else runs in to stop the final blow.
But Shadow clearly doesn’t think so. His body language during the entire scene suggests that he hardly sees Silver as a real threat. Shadow will adopt a fighting stance for some of Eggman’s weakest robots, but not for Silver.
I’m wondering if this doesn’t have something to do with his previous hostile encounters with Sonic, actually. Shadow knows that Sonic can use Chaos Control - not to the same level as himself, perhaps, but he was able to do it with a single, fake emerald in SA2, and that’s impressive enough. Maybe all Shadow sees here is some young, hot-blooded hedgehog who’s being deceived by Mephiles (since Silver originally mistakes Shadow for him), and figures he’ll wear him down to the point where he’s learned his lesson.
And then this happens:
Silver, in desperation, copies what he just saw Shadow do - hold out the emerald and yell “Chaos Control!” - and accidentally opens a portal with Shadow’s help. Shadow’s first words to this are:
He sounds shocked. And after this happens, he immediately offers Silver a temporary alliance to go back in time and take on Mephiles. That’s my theory - that Shadow originally saw Silver as a nuisance at best, proceeded to be impressed by his abilities and resourcefulness, and realized he would make a better ally than an enemy.